Easy as pie!
For most overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) is a necessity. It functions as a travel exit clearance that Filipinos working abroad must present at the immigration every time they travel to and from their work destination. However, this document does have some restrictions. For one, it is only valid for 60 days. Meaning, if you travel often, you will frequently need to process an OEC. The process is not quick and easy, either.
Good news, long-time OFWs! As long as you are a returning OFW, you can actually skip the whole process of obtaining an OEC. All you have to do is to avail of an OEC exemption. The best part? You can even do this from the comforts of your own home.
Only returning OFWs, or Balik Manggagawa (BM), are qualified to obtain an OEC. You will only be considered as such if you are returning to the same employer and job site. You must also hold a record in the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) database.
Quick reminders
You will only be allowed to apply for an OEC exemption within 60 days from your departure date.
How to apply for a BM OEC Exemption
Fortunately, applying for a BM OEC exemption is now quick and easy as long as you have internet access. Here is the step-by-step process of getting an OEC exemption.
  1. Register as a BM here.
    If you do not have an account yet, register as a BM under the POEA website. Under new user, fill out the fields with your personal information. After you accept the terms of service, click on the “Sign Me Up” button. Then, check your email account for the confirmation link.
  2. Click on the confirmation link.
    Once you receive the email from POEA BM Online System, click on the confirmation link. This will activate your BM Online account.
  3. Log in as a user.
    Under “Already Registered,” enter the email address and password that you submitted. Once you have logged in, you will be asked to enter your last issued OEC Number. When the system detects your record, confirm that you are qualified to register for the OEC exemption.

    You will have to set an online appointment to obtain a new OEC if the system does not find your record or if you are not qualified to register for the OEC exemption.
  4. Fill out the “My Profile” page.
    To verify your identity, update your profile. Particularly, fill out your Personal Data, Contract Particulars, and Legal Beneficiaries. Upload a profile photo that shows your true features. You may use your passport or visa photo for this.
  5. Confirm your exemption.
    Click “Acquire OEC or Exemption.” You will be asked to enter your expected flight schedule. Confirm that you are returning to the same employer and job site.
  6. Read the OEC Exemption confirmation message.
    Finally, the system will display an OEC Exemption confirmation message congratulating you for obtaining an OEC. It will also dictate your BM Exemption number. Take note of this. The confirmation message will also display further instructions for your flight.
However, if your OEC exemption is not accepted, the system will redirect you to the appointment page. Schedule your appointment to obtain an OEC.
This is everything you need to do to obtain an OEC exemption. Through this process, traveling to and from your work destination will not be as complicated anymore!
For more articles especially made for OFWs, register at WorkAbroad.ph—the leading overseas jobs board in the Philippines.